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Sorting It Out: International Trade and Protection With Heterogeneous Workers

  • Franziska Ohnsorge
  • Daniel Trefler

The two models of international trade with developed factor markets -- Heckscher-Ohlin and Specific Factors -- both suffer significant defects. For example, their predictions about the patterns of domestic production and international trade are for the most part either indeterminate or uselessly complex. The problem with these models is that the supply of factors to an industry is either perfectly elastic or perfectly inelastic. Using a model in which heterogeneous workers sort across industries we eliminate this problem. The result is a multi-good model with sharp predictions about (1) the domestic pattern of production, (2) North-North and North-South trade, (3) the demand for protection, (4) the determinants of domestic income distribution, and (5) the effect of trade on economic development.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10959.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Publication status: published as Ohnsorge, Franziska and Daniel Trefler. “Sorting it Out: International Trade and Protection with Heterogeneous Workers.” Journal of Political Economy 115, 5 (October 2007): 868-892.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10959
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